The Mets didn’t play a baseball game on Monday. That’s good news because it meant there was no way they could lose. It doesn’t mean New York still didn’t make some headlines, though. There’s one, in particular, involving infielder Ronny Mauricio that perked everyone’s ears up.
Both he and Mark Vientos deserve a promotion. However, there’s a rumor that Mauricio could make landfall in the big leagues in the near future. MLB insider Mike Rodriguez said the following:
The Mets could are calling Ronny Mauricio to MLB these days, the manager has a conversation with him in recent days about how he feels playing second and the man walks with the suitcases on the road just in case.
Here’s the tweet:
Los #Mets podrían están llamando a #RonnyMauricio a #MLB en estos días , el gerente mantiene una conversación con el en estos últimos días sobre cómo se siente jugando segunda y el hombre anda con las maletas ? en al ruta por si acaso ?????? pic.twitter.com/ufaZbEuMbc
— Mike Rodriguez (@mikedeportes) May 8, 2023
Like with any rumor — especially ones that don’t come from Jeff Passan, Ken Rosenthal, or any of the other big names — must be taken with a grain of salt. But then again, let’s not forget this Instagram post from Mauricio two weeks ago:
View this post on Instagram
By itself, this post looks harmless. It sounds more like he’s trying to manifest a promotion more than anything else. But when we combine this post with Rodriguez’s tweet and Mauricio’s recent time at second base, we could be onto something here.
Mauricio’s play over the past year has been eye-opening. His power was on full display during Spring Training, and it’s continued in Triple-A. Across 138 plate appearances with Syracuse, Mauricio is slashing .330/.370/.581. While he’s walked just six times, he’s also racked up 18 extra-base hits (10 doubles, two triples, six home runs), 19 RBI, 22 runs scored, and six steals.
Initially, I thought that the Mets not moving him off shortstop to begin 2023 meant they didn’t see a future for him in Queens. But days after I published that article, he began playing second base. And then the thought of him eventually playing at Citi Field felt lovely.
One would have to imagine that New York’s three-game set in Cincinnati this week against the Reds is a crucial one in many ways. They don’t want to dip further below .500, especially with seemingly winnable games against the Reds and Washington Nationals.
The Mets’ impending performance could dictate if Mauricio gets the call (if this rumor is true). If that does happen, how does it change things for New York?
Mauricio getting his feet wet at second base makes that his obvious landing spot. That’d move Jeff McNeil to a more regular role in left/right field, which would impact Mark Canha’s playing time (and maybe Starling Marte’s a bit, too).
If the Mets call up another infielder, either Eduardo Escobar or Luis Guillorme must be on the chopping block. We know Buck Showalter loves Guillorme. But if I had to make a guess, he’d be on the outside looking in. Escobar hasn’t produced much this year, but he at least brings the power potential Guillorme doesn’t have, as well as the versatility of being a switch hitter.
Escobar also surprisingly got a start at second base over the weekend. He could move into Guillorme’s role should Mauricio get promoted. Add in the fact that the light-hitting utility infielder still has a minor-league option left, and this feels like a no-brainer.
We’ll see what happens starting on Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park. After promoting Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez, we know the Mets aren’t afraid to call the kids up for a spark (even if it takes a while for them to get consistent playing time). If their situation gets any worse than it currently is, let’s hope they pull the trigger, and fast.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.